“Inside the Lines,” Friend, Feb. 1993, 28–29
David was coloring a beautiful picture. He was very careful and stayed inside the lines. He used bright yellow for the sun, blue for the sky, green for the trees, and red for the barn.
Mother came into the room, carrying his little sister, Allison. She set Allison next to him at the table and got a coloring book for her. “Allison is going to color with you while I make dinner,” she said. “Please give her a crayon to color with.”
David didn’t want to share his pretty crayons, but he did what his mother asked. He gave his sister the brown crayon. It was a dark color that he didn’t like much. “You can use this one,” he said to her.
Allison didn’t care what color the crayon was. She clenched it in her chubby fist and started making clumsy lines all over the page. She couldn’t color like David could. She just made scribbles.
Pretty soon David was almost finished with his picture. All he had left to color was the horse that was standing beside the barn. “I need the brown,” he said to Allison, but she didn’t stop scribbling. David reached over and tried to take the crayon from her hand. “I want the brown to color my horse,” he said.
Allison pulled her arm away and started to cry. She wanted to color too.
David liked his little sister. He felt sad when he saw the tears in her eyes. She was just trying to color like him. He looked at all the crayons beside his coloring book. There were lots of them, certainly enough for both him and his sister. “Do you want another color?” he asked her as he pushed his crayons to the middle of the table.
Allison looked at all the colors. She put down the brown crayon she was using and picked up a purple one. Happily she started to scribble over the top of the brown jumble she’d already made. David smiled. He picked up the brown crayon and carefully started coloring the horse’s mane. “Someday I’ll teach you to color inside the lines,” he said.